On Saturday I "retreated" for the 2nd time, as I had committed to taking monthly retreats on the first one. The morning was sunny with a nice breeze, so I jumped on my bike and headed for a quiet spot outside.
I could hardly write fast enough to keep up with the thoughts that spilled onto my notebook, and then--I just sat quietly for awhile. During my first retreat, I began reading this book for the third time. The book truly is an invitation to solitude and silence. Solitude is pretty radical these days, and this book is a practical and insightful guide to getting started. I find myself underlining a statement on almost every page, as so much of what the author says resonates with me. Here is just one quote from the book by Ruth Haley Barton:
"To enter into solitude and silence is to take the spiritual life seriously. It is to take seriously the need to quiet the noise of our lives, to cease the constant striving of human effort, to pull away from our absorption in human relationships for a time in order to give God our undivided attention."
Barton is a busy working mom with a Type A personality--she definitely understands the challenges of creating space for solitude in our lives--but she's also come to understand the rich value of it. Time for quiet and contemplation is so important, and I encourage you to consider accepting this invitation.